The Celtics will have to fight for a playoff spot without one of their most important players.
Boston announced Monday night that All-Star forward Jaylen Brown has suffered a torn scapholunate ligament in his left wrist and will miss the rest of the 2020-21 season. He is expected to undergo surgery later this week.
The Celtics offered no specific timetable for Brown’s return to the court, but as The Athletic’s Jared Weiss noted, Boston guard Romeo Langford suffered the same injury last year and took about six months to recover. If Brown stays roughly on that timeline, he should be available to rejoin the lineup for the start of the 2021-22 campaign.
Brown dealt with injury and COVID-19 issues throughout the season, but the 24-year-old still managed to earn his first All-Star selection with some of the best individual numbers of his career. He averaged a career-high 24.7 points per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from 3-point range.
Brown set many career highs this season in which he made his 1st All-Star appearance. PPG (24.7), APG (3.4), Steals PG (1.2), Blocks PG (0.6), FG pct (48.4) and 3-pt FG pct (39.7).
He had 11 games with at least 30 pts after having just 8 such games in his 1st 4 seasons combined https://t.co/pTBqNo0Ck3
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 10, 2021
Without Brown available, Boston will rely heavily on Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker to produce offensively. The Celtics will also need more from trade deadline acquisition Evan Fournier, who most recently scored 30 points in a loss to the Heat on Sunday — his highest scoring output since joining the team.
Even if other players step up in Brown’s absence, the Celtics, currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference standings, are unlikely to make a deep run in the 2021 NBA playoffs. They would face an uphill battle in a potential first-round series against the 76ers, Nets or Bucks, the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference.